Date Archives August 2018

Lights! Camera! Conversation!

I hadn’t heard of ‘mumblecore’ until my friend, a retired Film Studies lecturer, used it to describe The Breakfast Club. Indeed, in such a film ‘you have a small, intimate cast of characters, low budget production, in a film that relies heavily on dialogue to tell the story without the use of gimmicky plot devices or a great deal of action.’ So basically, they’re recorded plays. Perhaps it would be better to use this admittedly dull term instead of the pejorative ‘mumblecore’, which is difficult to say without imagining a hipster blogger rolling their eyes. A film that I love, Me and You and Everyone We Know, is number 2 in a list of 20 great mumblecore films here. I think it’s in the wrong list: yes, there is a small cast and it was made on a relatively low budget, but things actually happen in it: it’s not just a series of long conversations. I presume that When Harry Met Sally, which I watched a couple of days ago, can’t be described as mumblecore because it cost a fortune to make, but there is a lot of dialogue and not much happens. Why didn’t I watch this film years ago?! Meg Ryan is amazing in it, and I’m not even talking about the famous café scene.

The whole boiling will be bricked in

From the sandwich board at the entrance to The Orchard Tea Garden in Grantchester:

‘His life was turbulent and troubled, and his personal force was extraordinary. He lived on milk and vegetables. God help us if he should ever eat a beefsteak…’

– Bertrand Russell on Ludwig Wittgenstein

‘Two weeks ago I was in Cambridge…It was…rather hectic; young men going for their triposes; flowering trees on the backs; canoes, fellows’ gardens; wading in a slightly unreal beauty… a sense, on my part, of extreme age, and tenderness and regret; and so on and so on…’

– Virginia Woolf on Cambridge, 1924

And my version:

‘His life was turbulent and troubled, and his personal force was ordinary. He lived on beer and microwaved potatoes. God help us if he should ever have eaten a beefsteak…’

– Me on me when I started at Cambridge

‘Two weeks ago I was in Cambridge…It was…rather hectic; hundreds of tourists staring at mobile phones; parched grass; forbidden barbecues; entrance fees for college gardens; wading in a slightly unreal melancholy…a sense, on my part, of extreme age, and tenderness and regret; and so on and so on…’

– Me on Cambridge two weeks ago

Eden Rock

My favourite poem, Eden Rock by Charles Causley, was chosen as the final poem for today’s edition of Poetry Please. Listen in from 24:51 here.  You can read the poem here.

 

This is for you, Neal. May you rest in peace.